Touchable Memories: Souvenirs from Turkey

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Want to see some of the things we brought home from Turkey? I had a fun time rounding them up today from various corners of the house, and thinking about them. I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to owning things, but I love having objects in my daily life that remind me of a special time, place or experience.
I brought home a little of the hammam fun with a stack of pestemals, some bars of really special soap (cinnamon scented, rose and lemongrass scented) and a copper tas.


 I found all of these hammam items at that awesome little shop, as well as a coffee set made of bronze– complete with tray and little sugar dish with a lid.

 High on our list even before we got there was a beautifully inlaid backgammon board. They were all so beautiful, and we are really happy with the one we found– and I think we got a really good price!

 And it is also a chess/ checkers board!

 We also picked up a few hand-painted bowls and plates….

I also chose a few painted tile trivets– I loved the designs!

 And, of course, I had to bring some Turkish flavors home as well. I didn’t hold back on spice grinders– I love these beautiful little machines!

There is a Middle Eastern spice blend that I used to cook with a lot, but hadn’t been able to find in Germany or here in England. So I picked up a generous  portion of za’atar at the spice market, and we have really enjoyed having these flavors back in our meals!
I also discovered something new! The spice vendor called this “lemon salt” and said that lemon juice is evaporated to make these crystals. He said to use them when you don’t have lemon juice on hand to add tartness. That is perfect for me, because I love sour flavors and am always running out of lemons!

 I tasted this spice on salads made with cheese, cucumber, tomato and parsley. It reminded me of cumin and sesame at the same time. The spice guy called it “black cumin” but I think the correct name is nigella. I am glad I brought some home– it’s really fun to discover and work with a new flavor. I also sprinkled some in a pot of dirt, so we’ll see what the plant looks like!

There are a couple other items I may bring up later, but this was most of what we found. It is really sweet to have these things around to remind us of all that gorgeous sunshine and the breathtaking landscapes, the incredible warmth of the Turkish people, and the beauty woven into everything we saw in Turkey.

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9 Responses to Touchable Memories: Souvenirs from Turkey

  1. [email protected] February 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow, Ariana, I just love all the things you bought in Turkey! How absolutely fun. Great pictures and I can tell you brought home a whole winter’s worth of memories!

    • Ariana February 25, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Thank you! Yes, it’s really nice on a gloomy day to see these bright colors and think of all the sunshine…

  2. Jenny February 24, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I love all of your treasures, but the backgammon board is my favourite!

    • Ariana February 25, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Jenny. Yes, it’s our favorite, too. I like to think that it’s something we will pass on as an heirloom. And it’s fun that we can actually use it– it’s not just something lovely to look at.

  3. Hausfrau February 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    You really found some beautiful and useful things! The spice grinders are especially wonderful.

    • Ariana February 25, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Thanks Diane! Beautiful and useful is my very favorite combination!

  4. Grandma Seelye February 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Very beautiful items! especially the plates and copper! and the memories!


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